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Roberts, Kenneth L., 1885-1957



Kenneth L. Roberts was born on December 8, 1885, in Kennebunk, Maine. He graduated from Cornell University in 1908. From 1909-1917, he was a reporter and special writer for the Boston Post and from 1915-1917, held various editorial and writing positions for "Life" and "Puck" magazines. During World War I he served as captain in the intelligence section of the Siberian Expeditionary Force. After the war he worked as the staff correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post. He received an honorary degree from Dartmouth College in 1934, from Colby College in 1935, from Middlebury College and Bowdoin in 1938, and from Northeastern University in 1945. He was the author of "Arundel," "Lively Lady," and "Rabble in Arms"; all of which were published in the 1930s. His later work includes "Northwest Passage," "Trading in Maine" and "Lydia Bailey". In 1949, he published his autobiography "I Wanted to Write". In 1957, he received a Special Pulitzer Prize Citation from Columbia University for excellence in historical writing. In the late 1940s, Roberts became interested in the practice of water dowsing. In 1950, he formed a corporation, "Water Unlimited," with Henry Gross, a retired game warden and dowser. He also wrote three books on the subject: "Henry Gross and his Dowsing Rod," "The Seventh Sense" and "Water Unlimited," which was published posthumously. Roberts died on July 21, 1957.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Kenneth Roberts papers

Identifier: ML-25

Kenneth L. Roberts (1885-1957), reporter and historical novelist. Received honorary doctorate from Dartmouth College in 1934. The papers consist of manuscripts, galley proofs, correspondence, diaries, articles, maps, photographs, sketches and research material as well as scrapbooks and letter books. The papers represent his career as a writer and his interest in the practice of water dowsing.

Papers relating to Grant Wood's painting "Oliver Wiswell"

Identifier: MS-836

"Oliver Wiswell" by Grant Wood painting records. The collection contains correspondence between Kenneth Roberts and Grant Wood as well as clippings and auction printed matter. The painting was used a the book cover for Kenneth Roberts' book "Oliver Wiswell."